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Losing patience with some mental illness watch

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    And the irony is, I'm a final year psychology student.

    I have so, so much empathy for many individuals who truly suffer with mental illness. I understand how crippling it can be, what suffering the broad spectrum of such illnesses can cause. I can honestly say that, hand on heart.

    But for some types of people.... I just lose patience. And considering I want to work with mental illness, I don't think that bodes very well Especially because the type of person I'm referring to is I suspect very common.

    Basically, I feel like some people really cling on to their illness, and it encompasses their entire lives because they let it, I feel they almost enjoy it.
    It becomes a part of their identity, something they use to constantly harbour attention and pity for.

    I feel like this more applies to the sub-clinical individuals, who are suffering from anxiety/ depression on a sub-clinical level. I'm not saying everyone is like this, but I think quite a lot are.

    For example, I have this one friend who suffers with anxiety. Although she doesn't experience the physical symptoms of anxiety, no increased heart rate, anxiety attacks, it's more like extreme worry about her health.
    Over the past week, she's suffered with bad period pains. And the fuss that has been made. I get daily texts of her suffering, her panicking. Wanting to go the doctors but then being too afraid to. Going to the doctors and then being disappointed to find out that it's only just period pain.

    I feel as if she almost wants it be something more, she sounded so disappointed in her text that it was just her period.
    This girl hasn't got much going on in her life, and I really feel like she perhaps subconsciously uses this to get some attention, to have something happening in her life. Because sometimes having a bad experience is better than no experience at all, especially when you get lots of nice attention from it. Which just seems to reinforce it.

    It just frustrates me, how people like her have this defeatist "why is it always me " attitude. When guess what, it's not just you, all of us go through ****. But the difference is, we don't tell everyone about it, we don't offload all of our problems onto everyone, because we know that we aren't the only ones going through bad times.

    I've been through a lot myself over the past years, my own mum suffered with anxiety and depression (which she tried her hardest to keep to underwraps), my dad's an alcoholic. And I never offload all of my problems, constantly onto friends.


    I'm just a bit fed up of people like this. I have another friend who is the same. And they never seek help, they would just prefer to constantly bring others down with them. I feel like it results from such an inward focus, an almost self obsession, where they are constantly thinking about themselves. If they spend they day doing stuff for others, and thinking of others, I'm sure they'd feel better. But instead they chose to wallow in their own misery.

    /rant I suppose.
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    Right... Where to begin.

    I will probably offend you in what I'm about to say...
    You are immature and you lack life experience.

    I know I could potentially come across as the whiney fatalistic people that you speak of if you were to meet me at the moment. I obviously have no idea what the girls you speak of are like irl though so cannot comment on them with any certainty...
    But what you have to bare in mind is their behaviour MAY be a symptom rather than the problem. It may be annoying to you but that's not a good enough reason for you to write them off and presume they're just attention seeking. You clearly don't know what it's like to experience bad health anxiety otherwise you wouldn't say these things.

    My friends knew me as having health anxiety but really underneath the problems were a lot worse and my situation at home was bad and I hid these things from my friends knowing that if I just complained about my health worries here and there they'd more likely stay friends with me than if I drew them into the whole extent of my situation back home and bored them with that too. So I went on hiding my problems. I only recently received proper help as I was at crisis point.

    For all I know the girls you mention, their problems may start and finish at health anxiety and yes maybe the health anxiety serves to get them attention but the likelihood is if they're making that kind of an attempt to get attention then chances are... They probably need it. So no matter how annoying you find it rest assured in the knowledge that you're not coming to any harm other than a little annoyance. It's like for example say if your friend stopped moaning and kept all of these health worries to herself, say she kept everything to herself that ever annoyed you and it made her more ill whether mentally or physically... Would that be worth it? No.

    If they're not seeking help find out why... Ask them if their GP suggested cbt or anything for their health anxiety and if not suggest they request it. It helped me.
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    There is some psychological merit to the idea that we stay where we are comfortable - people who keep falling back into negative behaviour patterns because not doing so is strange, difficult and a risk (to them). That doesn't, by any means, mean they are at fault.

    There's plenty of attitudes like yours among mental health workers. People who learn about mental illness and translate the helplessness they feel to affect change into judgement of others. It's a frustration that generally expands if left unchecked.

    You can't change people. There's a quote that I'll paraphrase: I no longer feel I need to change, so I change. It basically means you can't judge or otherwise force someone to change. When you work with mental illness you learn tools to assist someone but you do your best "work" when that person feels accepted, understood and of worth.

    It's also worth mentioning that anxiety presents in many forms, not simply the somatic symptoms of an anxiety attack.

    Maybe they don't need saving. Maybe they gain from sharing with others. You may not gain from that, but it doesn't mean others shouldn't or they are attention seeking. Yes, you had a difficult upbringing and no doubt one that taught you you shouldn't tell people when you're struggling. That doesn't mean it's a universal truth. There are many families who are very open.
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    It's also okay to step back and not engage with behaviours you find draining. You're allowed to be your own person and not participate in any games they are playing - if they are playing them.
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    If you want to work in mental health you really need to work on this and change your views because you're right. You're going to come across a lot of people acting in the ways which frustrate you and you need to understand that it's part of their illness and learn to be non judgmental. Plenty of people will do things they shouldn't or not do things they should to get better and you need to be able to accept that.

    Plenty of people's illnesses do become a defining factor in their lives and part of their identity. A mental illness is often like that because it can be such a huge part of someone's life, it can literally be the defining factor in their lives. Sometimes people are glad of their diagnosis because finally the way they feel makes sense. Some people want to make it clear they are properly ill because they're afraid that they are a fraud or people won't believe them. And it is very hard to move on from mental health because people can start to worry what life would be like without it, it can be scary to think you would no longer have support and still find things super hard. Or that you'll try hard and fail to get better. It's much easier to stick with what you know.

    This applied to people all over the spectrum of a variety of mental health problems.

    You're really judgmental of your friend. Just because you haven't seen her having a full blown panic attack does not mean her anxiety is not severe. Plenty of people don't have panic attacks. And people deal in different ways, I don't personally try and seek reassurance from anyone other than perhaps my partner because I'm conscious about being seen as weak, she obviously feels she can trust you and talking to others helps. And as for the attention seeking thing, well perhaps she needs some attention to cope right now and this is the only way she knows to get it.

    That defeatist attitude is a sign of depression. You seem to feel that anyone who is open about their mental health is dealing with it wrong and you need to change that. There is no right or wrong way to deal and really people with mental health difficulties shouldn't have to feel they need to hide. Yes, most people go through hard times but the way it feels is determined by your mind not the exact situation you're in so some people experiencing fairly minor things might still be in massive psychological pain.

    Mental health can result in an inward focus. If there is so much tough stuff going on in your head then it is really hard to get out of it. Again, you shouldn't be judging people for this. As friends you can draw the line and say 'you're bringing me down, we need to talk less about this' but as a professional you are going to need to move on. You will see many people in therapy who you think aren't trying or are making things worse or are feeling sorry for themselves, you need to stop judging them and instead look objectively at those things as signs of their illness and things they need support with.
    • #2
    #2

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    And the irony is, I'm a final year psychology student.

    I have so, so much empathy for many individuals who truly suffer with mental illness. I understand how crippling it can be, what suffering the broad spectrum of such illnesses can cause. I can honestly say that, hand on heart.

    But for some types of people.... I just lose patience. And considering I want to work with mental illness, I don't think that bodes very well Especially because the type of person I'm referring to is I suspect very common.

    Basically, I feel like some people really cling on to their illness, and it encompasses their entire lives because they let it, I feel they almost enjoy it.
    It becomes a part of their identity, something they use to constantly harbour attention and pity for.

    I feel like this more applies to the sub-clinical individuals, who are suffering from anxiety/ depression on a sub-clinical level. I'm not saying everyone is like this, but I think quite a lot are.

    For example, I have this one friend who suffers with anxiety. Although she doesn't experience the physical symptoms of anxiety, no increased heart rate, anxiety attacks, it's more like extreme worry about her health.
    Over the past week, she's suffered with bad period pains. And the fuss that has been made. I get daily texts of her suffering, her panicking. Wanting to go the doctors but then being too afraid to. Going to the doctors and then being disappointed to find out that it's only just period pain.

    I feel as if she almost wants it be something more, she sounded so disappointed in her text that it was just her period.
    This girl hasn't got much going on in her life, and I really feel like she perhaps subconsciously uses this to get some attention, to have something happening in her life. Because sometimes having a bad experience is better than no experience at all, especially when you get lots of nice attention from it. Which just seems to reinforce it.

    It just frustrates me, how people like her have this defeatist "why is it always me " attitude. When guess what, it's not just you, all of us go through ****. But the difference is, we don't tell everyone about it, we don't offload all of our problems onto everyone, because we know that we aren't the only ones going through bad times.

    I've been through a lot myself over the past years, my own mum suffered with anxiety and depression (which she tried her hardest to keep to underwraps), my dad's an alcoholic. And I never offload all of my problems, constantly onto friends.


    I'm just a bit fed up of people like this. I have another friend who is the same. And they never seek help, they would just prefer to constantly bring others down with them. I feel like it results from such an inward focus, an almost self obsession, where they are constantly thinking about themselves. If they spend they day doing stuff for others, and thinking of others, I'm sure they'd feel better. But instead they chose to wallow in their own misery.

    /rant I suppose.
    Okay I can see why you feel like this, but I think you lack a lot of understanding you need for true empathy. That isn't completely your fault. It's hard to understand something you have never experienced yourself and since mh issues are so diverse basically nobody even with the same condition will have the same experience. I myself have OCD, depression ADD and a couple more things and I don't understand how some people with the same conditions feel. I know this so I try not to judge as though they are like me and to stay open minded, but yeah sometimes you just get annoyed with an individual regardless of any medical issues they may have.

    I don't want to be agressive or judgemental or anything in what I say here so please try not to take it that way. I'm just trying to spread a litttle awareness.
    A lot of what i'm talking about will be from my personal experience so won't be the same for everybody, but it isn't just me saying what is the right thing or how people should think. It's actual things that happened, not theory.

    On the subject of your first friend... You say theres not much going on in her life so you think she's trying to get attention. I guess you are kinda right in a way. If she doesn't have much else going on that's all she reall has to talk about. It doesn't mean she's just trying to use it for attention though- it's just all she has to talk about so she ends up talking about it.
    I don't have much going on in my life at the moment. My mental health and other health problems meant I had to drop out of uni and i'm often too tired or anxious to go downstairs let alone leave my house and do something. My life is my bedroom pretty much and most of the time i'm sleeping. I have nothing to talk to my bf about cos all that I experience is our house and he experiences that too.
    I have a few issues with my health that give me aches and pains and various other things on and off. To me these aches and pains and stuff make up like half of my life so to me they are a big deal. It doesn't help that I get anxious about my health and end up worrying I have cancer or something eventhough I know logically that I don't.
    When you have no other outlets any stress or anxiety or little worry tends to grow and grow.
    Oh and btw period pains can vary a lot. I had surgery and the pain from that was nowhere near as bad as the pain I get from periods!

    As for the defeatist attitude, people process things differently as it is and if you add something playing havoc with your head you'll tend to end up with abnormal attitudes. Mh problems change your way of viewing the world. It's like how people with paranoia think everything is out to get them. For them that is reality and the genuinely believe that. For some people their reality is that "defeatest attitude".

    "If they spend they day doing stuff for others, and thinking of others, I'm sure they'd feel better. But instead they chose to wallow in their own misery.s"
    I used to volunteer caring for disabled children and at youth groups. That didn't help me with my own issues and I had to stop doing it because I couldn't handle doing so much for others when I needed to care for myself. Yeah it gave me some perspective and I realised other people have rough lives too, but knowing that didn't magically make mine better.
    Just because some people have it worse it doen't mean you shouldn't feel upset about the bad things that happen to you. My grandparents are all dead. Should I not feel sad about that because some people's parents are dead too? No. I should be able to process my feelings because for me that is a big deal. For some people, loosing a pet is the worst loss they have experienced and I understand that it could be as painful for them as it was for me loosing my grandparents.
    Would you think it fair me saying you shouldn't feel bad about your family situation because some peoples parents commited suicide or got murdered? I should hope not because it wouldn't be fair.

    People not getting help: When I was depressed it took me ages to get help. A mix of unsupportive friend who told me to suck it up or that other people had it worse (much like you are saying) and my own limited understanding about mh conditions meant that it took until I was thinking about killing myself every night and self harming to think of getting help. Even then I couldn't. I was terrified about what people would think of me if they knew. I was worried they would judge me and it turns out i was right. When I opend up to people they shot me down. They didn't give me a chance to explain everything because before I could they had already judged me and lost my trust. Even when I got help I was to scared to say some things. I thought they would take it the wrong way and do something bad. I thought if I told them about my troubles at home they would blame my family and accuse them of abuse. I was worried if I told them about my thoughts they would section me. I never felt safe opening up because I knew that everybody judges you, even if they don't show it.

    Bare in mind there is a lot that might go on with people that you don't know about. I know people used to think I was lazy for not doing work. They didn't know that each day I was battling my own mind trying to force out thoughts of self harm or suicide or my family dying. They didn't know that when I forgot my lecturers name I was also having to try to remember what day it was, how old I was, if i'd taken my medication or if i'd eaten or slept in the past day.

    I used to think the same sort of things as you are saying. That anxious people should realise they aren't thinking logically. That depressed people should realise how good their life is. That people with issues should seek out better experiences and change their attitude. Then I was in that situation myslef and I realised that you have no control. I couldn't stop my anxiety even if I thought logically. No ammount of good experiences or positive thinking could help my depression. There was nothing I could do to help myself and I kept spiraling into a worse state.

    If you want to work with people with mh issues you will really need to learn some better empathy for it. Have you ever spent time with people who have serious mh issues or special needs? Or watched a documentary on it? It' a good start.

    To be honest to me it sounds like you have a lot of feelings you need to work through yourself. It's seems like you feel other people aren't allowed to feel worse than you, but you're repressing all your feelings. I almost get the impression that you are angry at your friends cos they are able to express how they feel but you think you can't.

    That may have been a bit of a mess, but I hope it helped give you a better understanding.
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    I've met someone whose mental health I just could not deal with. His response, after realising I wouldn't deal with his **** was to blame me for everything. I'm no longer in contact with him, partly because he was really affecting my health.

    Apparently, being mentally ill meant it was ok for him to harass me. Ok, we will just ignore the **** I was going through and the problems he was causing me.

    I had to leave a group because of him.
    • #2
    #2

    (Original post by Tiger Rag)
    I've met someone whose mental health I just could not deal with. His response, after realising I wouldn't deal with his **** was to blame me for everything. I'm no longer in contact with him, partly because he was really affecting my health.

    Apparently, being mentally ill meant it was ok for him to harass me. Ok, we will just ignore the **** I was going through and the problems he was causing me.

    I had to leave a group because of him.
    This post makes a good point I think has been forgotten a bit (I know I missed it out).
    Although people do not have control of mh problems and what they do is not their fault, they can still be bad for you. It is very stressful dealing with somebody who has mh problems just as it is to have them. If you can manage to then stand by them and support them and remember that under all the issues they have there is a pperson- your friend- fighting to get out.
    There are times though that it is not possible to do that without risking your own wellbeing. I know somebody who was abusive to their bf due to mh problems. In this situation her bf could not stay nomatter how much he cared for her and wanted to be supportive because it was risking his own health an he could not manage that.

    In any case try not to judge them harshly or talk badly behing their back. It is okay for you to seek comfort (and OP I don't blame you for writing what you did- you needed comfort and to let your frustration out), but remember that they are trying to fight through this and try to have some respect for that. They are not being mean- their condition is.
    Having a mh problem is not a get out of jail free card and does not mean it is okay to be mean to others, but in situations like that it needs to be looked at differently and types of action may need to be different. Like, I sometimes get more angry at my bf than I should and although it is hurtful for him he knows I do not mean it. He lets me have some time to myself to calm down and we will hug and make up. I will appologise for making him upset and he will forgive me because he knows it wasn't my fault. In that case it is just a little fight over dishes or something and there is not significant upset. It's all stuff that is easy to move past and ignore. If I were to hit him though or significantly upset him it would not be okay and he should consider different action including leaving me. He should remember that it is not totally my faut and that I still care for him, but he should still not let himself be hurt further because that would just leave two hurt people rather than just the one.
    It's like if you're allergic to something in a way (bare with me here). If you're alergic to a dog it's not their fault. They are nice and you should not hate them but their fur hurts you and you can't keep the dog because although it is nice it's fur would cause you harm.
    So the fur is the mh problems. The dog can't help that it has fur just as people can't help if they have mh problems. It's an odd stretch I know, but it does kinda make sense.

    Basically try to always be supportive and accepting but at the same time do not let yourself be hurt for their sake.
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    (Original post by Little Popcorns)
    Right... Where to begin.

    I will probably offend you in what I'm about to say...
    You are immature and you lack life experience.

    I know I could potentially come across as the whiney fatalistic people that you speak of if you were to meet me at the moment. I obviously have no idea what the girls you speak of are like irl though so cannot comment on them with any certainty...
    But what you have to bare in mind is their behaviour MAY be a symptom rather than the problem. It may be annoying to you but that's not a good enough reason for you to write them off and presume they're just attention seeking. You clearly don't know what it's like to experience bad health anxiety otherwise you wouldn't say these things.

    My friends knew me as having health anxiety but really underneath the problems were a lot worse and my situation at home was bad and I hid these things from my friends knowing that if I just complained about my health worries here and there they'd more likely stay friends with me than if I drew them into the whole extent of my situation back home and bored them with that too. So I went on hiding my problems. I only recently received proper help as I was at crisis point.

    For all I know the girls you mention, their problems may start and finish at health anxiety and yes maybe the health anxiety serves to get them attention but the likelihood is if they're making that kind of an attempt to get attention then chances are... They probably need it. So no matter how annoying you find it rest assured in the knowledge that you're not coming to any harm other than a little annoyance. It's like for example say if your friend stopped moaning and kept all of these health worries to herself, say she kept everything to herself that ever annoyed you and it made her more ill whether mentally or physically... Would that be worth it? No.

    If they're not seeking help find out why... Ask them if their GP suggested cbt or anything for their health anxiety and if not suggest they request it. It helped me.

    No need to resort to insults.


    I do have experience with anxiety, my mum has suffered with it, as I said. And even I have taken medication for it in the past. But I suppose what I feel annoys me, is that I tried my hardest not to let it show, as did my mum. But some people just constantly offload onto others. It does take emotional resources. You have to see that it does.

    The friend with health anxiety I'm referring to, I've known her all her life and have been through thick and thin with her. But when you constantly hear about her worrying about minor ailments. It gets frustrating.

    I suppose in a way, I judge her because I myself hate the thought of dragging someone down with me. All my life I've been the one people come to for advice, with their problems. And I try and help them the best I can. I'm always the ear. I take on their problems, and I go away from the conversation and try my best to seek solutions. But those people don't ever return the support.

    I feel like life sometimes exists of takers and givers. The takers are always the ones receiving the comfort and support and then the givers are always left to fend for themselves.


    I'm not referring to those with clinical diagnoses here, but those who suffer with minor anxieties. I can't stress that enough.

    I also want to say that I think it's harsh of you to judge me and call me immature and say I shouldn't work in mental health, because I don't think like this on a daily basis. But this is a confession of how I'm feeling lately. We all think dark thoughts sometimes. I love my friend to bits, but I felt frustrated. When I posted this, I was trying to finish my dissertation before the deadline, and I was always having to deal with a friends health concerns. So I vented on here. I don't mind providing support, but sometimes it gets on top of you, when you haven't the resources to even support yourself.

    I mean sometimes teachers come home at the end of the day hating kids, doesn't mean they aren't good teachers.

    Btw, I know the ins and outs of my friend and her health anxiety is not a symptom, unlike yours.
    • #3
    #3

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    And the irony is, I'm a final year psychology student.

    I have so, so much empathy for many individuals who truly suffer with mental illness. I understand how crippling it can be, what suffering the broad spectrum of such illnesses can cause. I can honestly say that, hand on heart.

    But for some types of people.... I just lose patience. And considering I want to work with mental illness, I don't think that bodes very well Especially because the type of person I'm referring to is I suspect very common.

    Basically, I feel like some people really cling on to their illness, and it encompasses their entire lives because they let it, I feel they almost enjoy it.
    It becomes a part of their identity, something they use to constantly harbour attention and pity for.

    I feel like this more applies to the sub-clinical individuals, who are suffering from anxiety/ depression on a sub-clinical level. I'm not saying everyone is like this, but I think quite a lot are.

    For example, I have this one friend who suffers with anxiety. Although she doesn't experience the physical symptoms of anxiety, no increased heart rate, anxiety attacks, it's more like extreme worry about her health.
    Over the past week, she's suffered with bad period pains. And the fuss that has been made. I get daily texts of her suffering, her panicking. Wanting to go the doctors but then being too afraid to. Going to the doctors and then being disappointed to find out that it's only just period pain.

    I feel as if she almost wants it be something more, she sounded so disappointed in her text that it was just her period.
    This girl hasn't got much going on in her life, and I really feel like she perhaps subconsciously uses this to get some attention, to have something happening in her life. Because sometimes having a bad experience is better than no experience at all, especially when you get lots of nice attention from it. Which just seems to reinforce it.

    It just frustrates me, how people like her have this defeatist "why is it always me " attitude. When guess what, it's not just you, all of us go through ****. But the difference is, we don't tell everyone about it, we don't offload all of our problems onto everyone, because we know that we aren't the only ones going through bad times.

    I've been through a lot myself over the past years, my own mum suffered with anxiety and depression (which she tried her hardest to keep to underwraps), my dad's an alcoholic. And I never offload all of my problems, constantly onto friends.


    I'm just a bit fed up of people like this. I have another friend who is the same. And they never seek help, they would just prefer to constantly bring others down with them. I feel like it results from such an inward focus, an almost self obsession, where they are constantly thinking about themselves. If they spend they day doing stuff for others, and thinking of others, I'm sure they'd feel better. But instead they chose to wallow in their own misery.

    /rant I suppose.
    Tbh the idea of someone with this kind of view working in mental health is mildly terrifying. No wonder so many people are reluctant to seek help.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    And the irony is, I'm a final year psychology student.

    I have so, so much empathy for many individuals who truly suffer with mental illness. I understand how crippling it can be, what suffering the broad spectrum of such illnesses can cause. I can honestly say that, hand on heart.

    But for some types of people.... I just lose patience. And considering I want to work with mental illness, I don't think that bodes very well Especially because the type of person I'm referring to is I suspect very common.

    Basically, I feel like some people really cling on to their illness, and it encompasses their entire lives because they let it, I feel they almost enjoy it.
    It becomes a part of their identity, something they use to constantly harbour attention and pity for.

    I feel like this more applies to the sub-clinical individuals, who are suffering from anxiety/ depression on a sub-clinical level. I'm not saying everyone is like this, but I think quite a lot are.

    For example, I have this one friend who suffers with anxiety. Although she doesn't experience the physical symptoms of anxiety, no increased heart rate, anxiety attacks, it's more like extreme worry about her health.
    Over the past week, she's suffered with bad period pains. And the fuss that has been made. I get daily texts of her suffering, her panicking. Wanting to go the doctors but then being too afraid to. Going to the doctors and then being disappointed to find out that it's only just period pain.

    I feel as if she almost wants it be something more, she sounded so disappointed in her text that it was just her period.
    This girl hasn't got much going on in her life, and I really feel like she perhaps subconsciously uses this to get some attention, to have something happening in her life. Because sometimes having a bad experience is better than no experience at all, especially when you get lots of nice attention from it. Which just seems to reinforce it.

    It just frustrates me, how people like her have this defeatist "why is it always me " attitude. When guess what, it's not just you, all of us go through ****. But the difference is, we don't tell everyone about it, we don't offload all of our problems onto everyone, because we know that we aren't the only ones going through bad times.

    I've been through a lot myself over the past years, my own mum suffered with anxiety and depression (which she tried her hardest to keep to underwraps), my dad's an alcoholic. And I never offload all of my problems, constantly onto friends.


    I'm just a bit fed up of people like this. I have another friend who is the same. And they never seek help, they would just prefer to constantly bring others down with them. I feel like it results from such an inward focus, an almost self obsession, where they are constantly thinking about themselves. If they spend they day doing stuff for others, and thinking of others, I'm sure they'd feel better. But instead they chose to wallow in their own misery.

    /rant I suppose.
    I think you need to check your views. Whilst you may have empathy for some people with mental health problems, it sounds like you lose that for others and become judgmental. We all have judgments, that is normal, however, if you want to work in mental health, believe me - you need to challenge these views you have.

    I work in mental health (student social worker/support worker) and you will come across people who are like what you describe. There will be people who will worry excessively and be needy, there will be people who will complain a lot, and there will be people who cling on to being ill. As a psychologist (I presume that is what you want to do), you will recognise that someone clinging onto their illness is not because they want it necessarily - there is a deeper reason. I worked with someone who I was told, "wanted to be ill" - would engage in parasuicidal behaviour and self harm and then present at A&E frequently. People labelled her as an attention seeker and just someone who wanted to be ill. But once you spoke to her - you saw the bigger picture - her mum died when she was young, she never had someone to care for her - she was just wanted someone to care for her - and her being unwell was the best way for her.

    Your friend may be the same - plus people with health anxiety can react in many different ways upon hearing, what we feel, is good news. Being told it is nothing can actually heighten anxiety - as they become fearful that the Dr has missed something big. You need to remove your judgments if you want to work in mental health - otherwise you will not last, and to be honest - you will not be a good worker.
    • #1
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    #1

    (Original post by bullettheory)
    I think you need to check your views. Whilst you may have empathy for some people with mental health problems, it sounds like you lose that for others and become judgmental. We all have judgments, that is normal, however, if you want to work in mental health, believe me - you need to challenge these views you have.

    I work in mental health (student social worker/support worker) and you will come across people who are like what you describe. There will be people who will worry excessively and be needy, there will be people who will complain a lot, and there will be people who cling on to being ill. As a psychologist (I presume that is what you want to do), you will recognise that someone clinging onto their illness is not because they want it necessarily - there is a deeper reason. I worked with someone who I was told, "wanted to be ill" - would engage in parasuicidal behaviour and self harm and then present at A&E frequently. People labelled her as an attention seeker and just someone who wanted to be ill. But once you spoke to her - you saw the bigger picture - her mum died when she was young, she never had someone to care for her - she was just wanted someone to care for her - and her being unwell was the best way for her.

    Your friend may be the same - plus people with health anxiety can react in many different ways upon hearing, what we feel, is good news. Being told it is nothing can actually heighten anxiety - as they become fearful that the Dr has missed something big. You need to remove your judgments if you want to work in mental health - otherwise you will not last, and to be honest - you will not be a good worker.
    Oh give over...

    You are merely a student support worker, you have absolutely no right to tell another whether they will or will not make a good mental health professional :rolleyes:
    Who are you to make that judgement?

    The thing is, I find a lot of people such as yourself, don't see people with mental illness as humans capable of being good and bad, you just see them as a patient. As a mental illness. You need to see past that and recognise that you get some people with mental health issues who are pains in the arses. Just like you get people without metal health issues who are pains in the arses.

    I find it really patronising, the attitude many people have to those with mental health issues. Treat them as normal people ffs. They are capable of being just as annoying as the rest of us. I find this attitude is not helpful at all, dehumanising almost.


    Not everyone with a mental illness is innocent. Just like not everyone without a mental illness is innocent. Stop victimising them.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Oh give over...

    You are merely a student support worker, you have absolutely no right to tell another whether they will or will not make a good mental health professional :rolleyes:
    Who are you to make that judgement?

    The thing is, I find a lot of people such as yourself, don't see people with mental illness as humans capable of being good and bad, you just see them as a patient. As a mental illness. You need to see past that and recognise that you get some people with mental health issues who are pains in the arses. Just like you get people without metal health issues who are pains in the arses.

    I find it really patronising, the attitude many people have to those with mental health issues. Treat them as normal people ffs. They are capable of being just as annoying as the rest of us. I find this attitude is not helpful at all, dehumanising almost.


    Not everyone with a mental illness is innocent. Just like not everyone without a mental illness is innocent. Stop victimising them.
    Firstly I said social worker. And if you are going to go into work assuming some of your colleagues are "merely support workers" then you are going to have a rough time. I am speaking from experience of working in mental health for 3 years and being a service user for 10. I also have cared for my partner who has mh issues for 4. So I would say I understand it quite well.

    Now, when did I say that they are just an illness and cannot do wrong? I didn't say that at all. However you were minimalising their experiences. You were judging without knowing the big picture. Your words were judgmental and invalidating. I never said you can't work in mental health I just said to reflect on your judgments. Everyone has to do that from time to time.


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    • #2
    #2

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Oh give over...

    You are merely a student support worker, you have absolutely no right to tell another whether they will or will not make a good mental health professional :rolleyes:
    Who are you to make that judgement?

    The thing is, I find a lot of people such as yourself, don't see people with mental illness as humans capable of being good and bad, you just see them as a patient. As a mental illness. You need to see past that and recognise that you get some people with mental health issues who are pains in the arses. Just like you get people without metal health issues who are pains in the arses.

    I find it really patronising, the attitude many people have to those with mental health issues. Treat them as normal people ffs. They are capable of being just as annoying as the rest of us. I find this attitude is not helpful at all, dehumanising almost.


    Not everyone with a mental illness is innocent. Just like not everyone without a mental illness is innocent. Stop victimising them.
    Hi, just trying to be a little bit of conflict resolution...
    It wasn't really right for them to say you wouldn't make a good mh worker. They were right about a lot of what they said though (the last part about helath anxiety is very true- it does change your idea of what's good news in that way) . People find mh a really personal thing to talk about so often go overboard a little bit when discussing their views.
    A lot of people here have probably dealt wit a lot of dismissive and disrepectful people and when they hear somebody who also seems to have those views they tend to see those people who have hurt them in them.

    Social workers are not by any means "meerly". They have a lot of experience and make a lot of difficult decisions. Besides anybody can have a good opinion, weather they're a bin collector or president. I can see why you said it though and no, they can't say if you'll be good at mh work or not. Apart from anything else we don't know everything about you and are just going by a few posts.

    You are right that people with mh problems can still be bad people or make bad choices that aren't due to their condition. Some people will fake conditions or use them as an excuse etc, but you still- as a professional- need to take whatever condition they do or might have as seriously as you would any other. There are some bad people who can have legitimate mh problems too. You have a duty of care and that applies to nasty people too.

    Mh problems are very complex and you need to be able to avoid judgement and be prepared to change your mind if you are going to be a good mh worker. I think you do have a respect for mh conditions and I can really see why you are saying a lot of what you are and that a lot of it is right. You are going to need to get more experience with mh issues and learn not to let the fact that people are annoying sway your judgement. You don't need to not find them annoying- as you said anybody can be annoying and mh problems don't change that- but as a professional you need to be able to look past that. I've worked with some really wonderful and lovely kids with various mh issues or special needs. They can be really annoying and I've gone home before and had a little rant or been really frustrated while working. That's normal. You're human too and you should be able to gett annoyed at annoying things. If I were to let the fact that a child has annoyed me mean I treat them any differently or mean I don't care for them properly though I would be very wrong and not a good childcare worker. Children can kick you, spit at you, push you, pull your hair, all you names and so much more, but you still ned to care for them and treat them properly.
    It's he same with mh issues or anything else. You need to not let the fact that somebody is annoying affect how you care for them.

    Anyway i've gone of on a ramble. Point is, if you're going to work in mh you're going to have to deal with a lot of annoying people and behaviours whatever the reason and you are going to have to wor past that. You should have a think about if working in mh is for you- anybody considering it should- because you need to be very sure to stay impartial in some very frustrating conditions a) because it is morally right and b) because otherwise you could loose your job.
    Think about it and challenge your views. Get some personal experience and try to develop yourself. You won't necessarily be a bad mh worker (I think you could make a good one actually), but you do need to work at it a lot. It is a very stressful job and you need to be sure you can manage that.
    • #1
    • Thread Starter
    #1

    (Original post by bullettheory)
    Firstly I said social worker. And if you are going to go into work assuming some of your colleagues are "merely support workers" then you are going to have a rough time. I am speaking from experience of working in mental health for 3 years and being a service user for 10. I also have cared for my partner who has mh issues for 4. So I would say I understand it quite well.

    Now, when did I say that they are just an illness and cannot do wrong? I didn't say that at all. However you were minimalising their experiences. You were judging without knowing the big picture. Your words were judgmental and invalidating. I never said you can't work in mental health I just said to reflect on your judgments. Everyone has to do that from time to time.


    Posted from TSR Mobile

    Firstly, you did say support worker. Check your post. Secondly, I said merely because you are a student support worker. The merely was because of the "student" in your title, not because I look down on support workers. If you aren't even fully qualified you shouldn't talk as if you are the source of all knowledge regarding mental health.

    Secondly, you did say that. And the reason you jumped down my throat I can now see is because you are also a "service user", which does justify your defensive attitude somewhat.

    I find it astonishing that a lot of you people don't seem to consider the impact those with MH have on those close to them. You think everyone close to them should be perfectly able to take on whatever is offloaded onto them, and not only accept it, but provide perfect emotional support. The issue here has been missed. This is not about caring in a professional setting, but in the personal life. It's one thing caring about a person at work, but going home to face it on a daily basis is toll taking. If you are telling me that out of the entire 4 years you cared for your partner, that not once, when you were at your most stressed yourself, did you think perhaps you can't cope? If so, I'm sorry but you must be deluded.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Firstly, you did say support worker. Check your post. Secondly, I said merely because you are a student support worker. The merely was because of the "student" in your title, not because I look down on support workers. If you aren't even fully qualified you shouldn't talk as if you are the source of all knowledge regarding mental health.

    Secondly, you did say that. And the reason you jumped down my throat I can now see is because you are also a "service user", which does justify your defensive attitude somewhat.

    I find it astonishing that a lot of you people don't seem to consider the impact those with MH have on those close to them. You think everyone close to them should be perfectly able to take on whatever is offloaded onto them, and not only accept it, but provide perfect emotional support. The issue here has been missed. This is not about caring in a professional setting, but in the personal life. It's one thing caring about a person at work, but going home to face it on a daily basis is toll taking. If you are telling me that out of the entire 4 years you cared for your partner, that not once, when you were at your most stressed yourself, did you think perhaps you can't cope? If so, I'm sorry but you must be deluded.
    I have a job as a support worker, and I am also a student social worker, just to clarify if I wasn't clear before. Again, why "merely" in relation to students? Do they not have anything useful to contribute? I don't think I am the source of all knowledge, however, I will contribute my opinion and any knowledge I have.

    Please quote where I said that people are just an illness and can do no wrong. I cannot see where I said that - you have interpreted my words wrong. I am a strong believer in the social model, I do not think people are just an illness - that is the opposite of what I stand for. I shared a view which I have learnt from experienced professionals about looking at someone's behaviours from the point of view of what drives them to do that.

    I know that people with mental health problems can do wrong - I never said that they are always right and all actions are justifiable because of their illness - anyone can do wrong things - however I was responding to the situation of your friend. You were judging her (and others) from seeking support. Even if it is constant there is often a reason for that. You even claim that she could be choosing to "wallow in their own misery". In my opinion that is extremely judgmental and a false belief of mental health issues.

    I am fully aware of the impact that supporting someone with MH issues has on someone. I don't think that everyone should take it and suffer with it - you have to balance your needs and theirs. If it is too much it is fine to say that you would like a break. I admit that whilst caring for my partner there has been difficult times - I do not hide that. However, the difference that I am trying to point out is the attitude that comes with it. Whilst I admit that it is hard at times to care for someone, I do not think that they are attention seeking, forcing it upon themselves or clinging onto being ill ON PURPOSE. They may do these things but it is very likely that there is a reason for this behaviour. This behaviour deserves compassion and understanding - not judgment and discrimination. This is very much along the lines of practicing unconditional positive regard.

    You may be discussing your personal life, but you have stated that you wish to work in mental health. Feelings, views, values and judgments from your personal life will overflow into your professional life, no doubt. Therefore it is important to challenge your judgments regardless of where they originate - someone who is actively racist in their private life will carry through their values and judgments into their professional life - with damaging consequences (and no, I am not saying you are like a racist, it's just an example).

    I am sorry if it came across like I was saying that you cannot work in mental health or that you shouldn't work there. I was too blunt, and for that I apologise. What I meant to express is that, with the current judgments you appear to hold towards some people with mental health issues, will mean that you will most likely not enjoy working in mental health, and you will most likely find that your practice is not as effective in supporting individuals, than people without those judgments. Like I said, unconditional positive regard is extremely important to avoid judgments, discrimination, and therefore, limiting the opportunities and services you provide to others. I hope I have explained myself better this time.
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    Someone who is behaving in "attention seeking" and destructive ways and cannot stop those behaviours even when it causes conflict; they have mental health difficulties.

    I really wish psych UG would include more personal development. It's drummed into you from day one of counselling training. A client knows when you are being dismissive of them and putting them in the "playing victim" box. Borderline personality disorder is often shoved into that box and that is a genuine mental illness.

    Maybe people wouldn't have missed your point if you'd actually framed it within it. Instead of admitting your judgement wouldn't help professionally, you could have just created a post which talks about the difficulties of supporting someone with mental illness, on a personal level. You would have received an entirely different response.

    That, or when people didn't agree that some patients are just perpetual victims, you claimed we weren't seeing the point..you actually meant when it's personal support. Personally, I don't believe it's any different. I'm not more judgemental and rigid in my personal life than I am in professional. These judgements: you either believe them or you don't and if you believe them in your personal life they creep into your professional. This is why there is so much focus on personal development in training. It's not enough to just have the self awareness, it's changing those beliefs which negatively impact too.
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    The difference is that in my personal life, I can decide whether i want to keep supporting someone who's behaviour is having a big negative impact on me.
    • #1
    • Thread Starter
    #1

    (Original post by ~Tara~)
    Someone who is behaving in "attention seeking" and destructive ways and cannot stop those behaviours even when it causes conflict; they have mental health difficulties.

    I really wish psych UG would include more personal development. It's drummed into you from day one of counselling training. A client knows when you are being dismissive of them and putting them in the "playing victim" box. Borderline personality disorder is often shoved into that box and that is a genuine mental illness.

    Maybe people wouldn't have missed your point if you'd actually framed it within it. Instead of admitting your judgement wouldn't help professionally, you could have just created a post which talks about the difficulties of supporting someone with mental illness, on a personal level. You would have received an entirely different response.

    That, or when people didn't agree that some patients are just perpetual victims, you claimed we weren't seeing the point..you actually meant when it's personal support. Personally, I don't believe it's any different. I'm not more judgemental and rigid in my personal life than I am in professional. These judgements: you either believe them or you don't and if you believe them in your personal life they creep into your professional. This is why there is so much focus on personal development in training. It's not enough to just have the self awareness, it's changing those beliefs which negatively impact too.

    UGa are academic not applied that's why? We don't learn about counselling. Psychopathy an d pedophilii
    • #1
    • Thread Starter
    #1

    (Original post by ~Tara~)
    Someone who is behaving in "attention seeking" and destructive ways and cannot stop those behaviours even when it causes conflict; they have mental health difficulties.

    I really wish psych UG would include more personal development. It's drummed into you from day one of counselling training. A client knows when you are being dismissive of them and putting them in the "playing victim" box. Borderline personality disorder is often shoved into that box and that is a genuine mental illness.

    Maybe people wouldn't have missed your point if you'd actually framed it within it. Instead of admitting your judgement wouldn't help professionally, you could have just created a post which talks about the difficulties of supporting someone with mental illness, on a personal level. You would have received an entirely different response.

    That, or when people didn't agree that some patients are just perpetual victims, you claimed we weren't seeing the point..you actually meant when it's personal support. Personally, I don't believe it's any different. I'm not more judgemental and rigid in my personal life than I am in professional. These judgements: you either believe them or you don't and if you believe them in your personal life they creep into your professional. This is why there is so much focus on personal development in training. It's not enough to just have the self awareness, it's changing those beliefs which negatively impact too.

    UGs are academic not applied that's why? We don't learn about counselling, we learn about psychology as a science. Hence the Bsc.
 
 
 
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